The Mouth-Body Connection: Why Oral Health is Key to Your Overall Health

At Beyond Dental Health, we take pride in our goal of improving our patients’ oral and overall health. Many patients are unaware of the crucial role we can play in their overall well-being, so we take the time to educate them on how our work is integrated with other areas of healthcare. As a dentist, I want to highlight the importance of the connection between dentistry and healthcare and provide some key tips for patients to keep themselves healthy. 

Oral health and systemic health are intimately connected. Research has shown that poor oral health can increase the risk of developing systemic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. This is because the mouth is a gateway to the body, and oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation and infection in other parts of the body. 

At our offices, we emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene to patients. Poor oral hygiene can lead to the development of gum disease, which can cause inflammation and infection of the gums. The bacteria associated with gum disease can then enter the bloodstream and cause damage to other parts of the body, including the heart.  

Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, and untreated gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. As a result, people with diabetes who have poor oral health may be at greater risk of developing complications such as kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness. Similarly, there may be a link between gum disease and respiratory infections. Infection in the lungs can be caused by bacteria that are inhaled, and oral bacteria may be a contributing factor. Regular dental check-ups can help detect oral health problems early, which can prevent the need for more invasive and expensive treatments later on. 

Preventive care is essential for maintaining good health and preventing the development of serious health conditions. As a dentist, I emphasize the importance of regular preventive care visits, screenings, and vaccinations to my patients. Preventive care in dentistry can also help improve overall health outcomes. For example, studies have shown that treating gum disease can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and other systemic health conditions. Additionally, dental treatment can help improve a person’s ability to chew and digest food, which can improve their overall nutrition and health. 

Providing healthcare takes teamwork – your dental team, other healthcare professionals and most importantly – you.  Here are some of our recommendations for what you can do to maximize your oral and overall health: 

  • Visit the dentist regularly for preventive care, including check-ups, cleanings, and screenings for oral cancer. 
  • Practice good oral hygiene habits at home, such as brushing and flossing daily and avoiding tobacco products. 
  • Manage systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, to reduce the risk of oral health problems and vice versa. 
  • Be aware of the link between oral health and systemic health and understand how poor oral health can increase the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. 
  • Work with your healthcare team, including your dentist and physician, to ensure that your overall health needs are being addressed and that your dental care aligns with your overall healthcare needs. 
  • Focus on preventive care in all aspects of healthcare to maintain good health and prevent the development of serious health conditions. 
  • Create good habits for eating, sleeping and exercise

We are here for you with any questions!  Schedule your next dental check-up today and take the first step towards better oral and overall health!  Call us at 781.650.2200 and prioritize your preventive care to stay healthy.  Keep smiling and stay tuned for our upcoming posts on nutrition! 

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